Facebook is the world's largest social network. Most users have a personal account, but some special people are represented in socalled Pages. There are multiple groups where one can learn Klingon. The Facebook Translation Team is working on the translation of the interface, which is quite slowly proceeding because Facebook updates its strings quite often.

Problems of the translation process

There are three major problems in the process of translation.

1. Lack of translators

The Facebook Translation Team has quite a few members, but only a handful of them are very active. The most active translators are Robyn Stewart, who did a very big chunk of it, André Müller, who did the first main work before anyone else, Lieven L. Litaer, and many others.

A translated string will only be accepted after a certain amount of people has accepted that translation by checking and approving it with a click. That's why it sometimes takes some time before a phrase is accepted.

It's even worse if there are multiple possible translations, and people can vote for it. Two people vote for one, two for the other solution, and if they do not agree there will be no translation at all.

2. Number of strings

What makes the translation work so hard is that for one single word, there are sometimes hundreds of strings to translate. For instance, if one would translate the word "message" as QIn, there are many strings to translate, these are real explanations for strings to translate as "Message":
"Text shown on button to open the chat tab"
"Text for message button in timeline"
"fbt used for QE test in en_US only"
"Glossary: Glossary: Communication between users. "
"Send message to user interested in the for sale item"
"Button/Link: Brings user to a prompt where they can send a message to members of the group."
"Send a message"
"Button for sending message to event members - short version of send message"
"In the phrase: 'You reported {name}'s {message} for {reason}"
"journey notification text"
"When a user enters "message" in the search box, search results may include Facebook Messenger marketing page."
"In the phrase: 'Someone reported your {message} for {reason}"
"additional message sent inside the email invitation to friends"
"Button label in a product view"

For each word, there are hundreds of strings, which makes the entire list of estimated 10,000 to 15,000 strings to translate

3. Regular updates and additions

Since the software is developping all the time ‐ which is quite good ‐ new strings are added almost daily. The problem is that many strings are also replaced or deleted, so that even finished work simply disappears. At some time in 2014, the process was displayed as being finished over 80 %, but it dropped back multiple time until 48 % as of January 2016.

See also

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